Irish milk production forecast to slow for the rest of the year

Irish milk production for 2016/17 could increase by 84m litres or 1.3%, according to an AHDB Dairy forecasting model on milk production.

Irish milk production for the current milk year looks to be somewhere in the region of 6.6 billion litres to 6.9 billion litres, it found.

This compares with the 2015/16 when milk production in Ireland increased by more than 1 billion litres (18%) in response to quotas no longer being in place.

Combined milk deliveries in April and May this year increased by less than 1% on year-earlier levels compared to the 12% growth witnessed over the same two months last year, according to AHDB.

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Going by these figures, AHDB says that this would suggest that expansion in milk production post-quota is starting to slow down, as the market situation remains poor and Irish farmgate prices remain low.

However, it also says that production during the rest of the season will continue to be heavily influenced by weather and grass growth conditions which may result in a different outcome than that predicted.

Commission looking at ways to incentivise farmers to cut milk production – Hogan

Meanwhile, the European Commission is looking at how it could incentivise farmers to cut their milk production in order to combat the oversupply on dairy markets, through Article 222 the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan has said.

Later this month at the next Council of European Agriculture Ministers, the Commissioner is to announce a new package of measures for the struggling dairy sector.

Commissioner Hogan has said that the public intervention system will also have to be looked at in the new package.

There isn’t any point in incentivising countries to produce more at a time when we have to produce less.

“Ireland is one of the countries who have produced more since the beginning of the year with a significant amount of extra tonnage of milk.

‘I’m told it’s all for third country markets but the evidence is not there judging by the amount we put into intervention.”

Commissioner Hogan also said that the small producers around Europe who have had a dramatic reduction in their income are on the verge of going out of the business.